Report assesses health and environmental risks of using insects as food

Resource / Report assesses health and environmental risks of using insects as food

By Will Ingram / 21 Oct 2015


The European Food Safety Authority has published a Risk Profile on the potential biological and chemical hazards associated with using insects as food or animal feed.


The report also identifies environmental and allergy hazards, and compares farmed insects to other mainstream sources of animal protein.


Despite the variation between species, production methods, and harvesting time, the report recommends that health and environmental hazards are comparable to other non-insect based protein sources.


Adding protein-rich insects to our food systems has well-publicised environmental and economic benefits, and would benefit food security. Insects with the greatest potential for use in livestock feed include houseflies, silkworms, mealworms and crickets.


More than 1,900 insect species are regularly consumed by people globally, forming part of two billion people’s diets.


However, the EFSA acknowledges the current negligible use of insects in the EU and highlights the paucity of systematic collected data on the topic.


Nonetheless, this safety report complements the rising interest about insect protein, and could help to identify and overcome barriers to its widespread adoption.



Image credit: killerturnip / Flickr

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